For the past few weeks, my social media feeds have been dominated by family, friends, celebrities and complete strangers dumping buckets of ice on themselves as part of the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. I have also seen many posts where people are annoyed and questioning if the challenge is actually making a difference.
Well, aside from creating an awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” it is actually raising “buckets” of money and bringing in new donors.
As a public relations strategist, this grassroots campaign is one that stands out as the most successful in a very long time.
Posted in: Marketing
Americans’ faith in the major news media platforms is at record lows, according to a Gallup Poll published in June 2014. The actual behaviors of the average consumer, though, should make PR pros take notice, given that media relations is a significant portion of what we do.
Gallup’s Poll shows that people trust newspapers the most, followed by the Internet, with television news bringing up the rear. However, the American Press Institute notes that this order is reversed in terms of how Americans actually consume the news. Television, which reportedly has the lowest public confidence, is the most frequently used medium for getting the news, with laptops/computers ranking second and newspapers coming in last.
While trust in the Internet as a source is slightly lower than when Gallup first measured public confidence in 1999, this year marks the first time that another news medium (television, in this case) has fallen below the Internet in public trust.
Posted in: Public Relations
You may have read recently that one vowel might cost British Airways a pretty penny after sending a couple to the Caribbean (Grenada) instead of their intended Spain vacation (Granada). In a digital age where public blunders go viral before brands can even think of hitting the delete button, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of producing well polished content.
While word processors’ spellcheck may be a PR pro’s best friend, sometimes the infamous red squiggles below a word can be misleading. Indeed, Grenada and Granada are both words, but you have to think: Which word was intended?
If you have been following my other posts, you know that grammar, spelling and proofreading are all things that excite me. As rbb’s resident proofer, I’ve put together a list of six misspellings and grammatical errors PR pros should always avoid.
“The magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
That is how Malcolm Gladwell describes the tipping point.
With the United States advancing to the elimination round and the country catching World Cup fever, marketers must ask themselves this question: Is this soccer’s tipping point?
Posted in: Marketing
The EU’s Court of Justice may have forced Google to give its citizens a say in what pops up when someone searches their name by upholding what is known as “the right to be forgotten,” but there is still no such thing as a “Get Out Jail Free ” card on the web.
As the debate about the validity and impact of the ruling rages on, it’s a good reminder for anyone with a public persona or brand to have a solid digital crisis communication plan in place.
No ruling can keep up with powerful combination of the 24/7 news cycle and the Internet’s ability to aggregate information, especially when tied to a trending topic. As Forbes contributor Emma Woollacott warned in her recent article, “The Internet is a many-headed Hydra, and content from a delisted website frequently pops up again somewhere else.”
Posted in: Crisis Communication
We’re now in the second year of our Breakout Brand national research. In case you’re unfamiliar with that concept, here’s the short version: rbb has been studying how consumers’ relationships with brands keeps changing. The marketplace is not what it used to be, and our research has shown how much brands need to reshape their businesses around consumers.
Now, for the longer version. In an interview for the podcast Purse Strings, our CEO Christine Barney goes into detail about what defines a Breakout Brand, how the size or age of a company affects Breakout Brand status, and how challenging it can be to adapt to the changing marketplace.
After (or before) you have a listen, download our Breakout Brand white paper and research to learn how you can “create your future.”
Posted in: Public Relations
In 2013, the Internet exploded in rage in response to comments made by Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries about catering to cool kids and not serving larger customers. Since then, what have we learned?
Immediately following the controversy, the world (along with this blogger) surmised how it would affect Abercrombie sales and stock price, with many hypothesizing that nice guys still finish last, especially in an age of bullying and obesity-shaming.
The problem for the retailer is that the world continues to change, and with it the Abercrombie customer. While many cynics worry that millennial and post-millennial generations lack empathy and social skills due to increased online activity and decreased face-to-face interactions, I have always disagreed with that assertion.
With our summer interns starting this week, I’m excited about all the opportunities that lay ahead of them. Being a part of the rbb team is rewarding in so many ways, but being co-manager of rbb’s internship program has its very own rewards.
rbb interns have opportunities like no other – they are a part of the team, the rewards are endless and we pride ourselves on giving interns a real world experience.
Interns participate in professional development programs, own their own projects, pitch media and much more.
So, what does it take to secure one of the coveted positions?
- A genuine interest in public relations and pursuing it as your career.
- Solid grammar skills. Break out your AP Stylebook, because you will need it!
- Resourcefulness. Can you find quick and clever ways to solve a problem on your own?
- Professionalism, both in your demeanor and dress.
- The ability to work well individually and in a team environment.
- Fearlessness. Are you ready to speak to the media?
- A thirst for knowledge.
Are you ready to unlock your future in PR? Check out rbb’s career page and apply!
What is your best advice for PR pros just starting out?
Who wants to pay for a carry on or a bottle of water in flight? Who wants a seat that doesn’t recline? Known as “the most complained about” airline in America, Sprit Airlines doesn’t seem a likely candidate for Breakout Brand status.
But the airline recently launched a branding campaign aiming to change that.
Rather than competing with the mainstream airlines, Spirit is taking a new leading stance on the low-cost, stripped down flying experience.
The new “Bare Fare” campaign seeks to position the airlines’ a la carte offerings as a plus and features videos and FAQs to educate the consumer on the Spirit Airline business model.
Earlier this year, rbb was pleased to present the first Larry Birger Young Business Journalist prize at The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) annual conference in Phoenix. The winner was Mina Kimes, an enterprise investigative reporter for Bloomberg News.
The Larry Birger Award recognizes the nation’s top young business journalist, up to the age of 30. Kimes was selected because of her stellar work over her seven-year career, including her investigative pieces at both Bloomberg News and Fortune on abuse in the medical industry and the exploitation of subordinates for profit in large American corporations.
I had the privilege to turn the tides on our inaugural award winner and ask her a few questions about her career and journalism in America.
Posted in: Business Thoughts